Man thrown out of restaurant after confrontation with John Fetterman: In the latest sign that the Pennsylvania senator is losing support on his progressive flank, a man was thrown out of a Pittsburgh restaurant after confronting him.
John Fetterman Might Be Losing Support
There have been indications in recent weeks that Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) is losing some support due to the stance he has taken on Israel. Ever since the latest hostilities began between Israel and Hamas, Fetterman has been emphatically pro-Israel, which has bothered some of his supporters.
Over the weekend, a man named Don Kovalik posted a video of himself confronting Fetterman in a Pittsburgh restaurant, and Kovalik being forcibly removed from the premises by a man identified as a staffer for the senator.
That last line is a reference to a line from the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
In the 70-second video, Kovalik is seen walking up to Fetterman and asking why he has not supported a ceasefire. At that point, a staffer interrupts and says “I’m with the senator’s team and if you’d like, I can talk to you.” At that point, Kovalik notes that he voted for Fetterman, and that “this is a democracy.”
Kovalik then turns again to Fetterman and tells him that the U.N. and the Pope have both called for a ceasefire in Gaza. “You’re a good guy, I voted for you,” Kovalik says, and then tries to hand Fetterman a piece of paper.
At that point, the staffer then begins shoving Kovalik towards the door, and eventually out of the building.
“He just assaulted him,” the person filming the conversation says.
Fetterman did not speak at any point during the video. Kovalik, who describes himself in his social media bio as a “Lawyer, Professor, and Author of several books,” also states that he had paid for a ticket to the event where the confrontation took place.
The video had over 4 million views as of Monday morning. Many on social media noted that the security guard who dragged Kovalik out was dressed very similarly to the senator. It’s also been noted that Kovalik has written, more than once, in defense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After he spent most of his first year in office as much more of a bogeyman for the right, the Pittsburgh confrontation was just the latest instance of Fetterman’s left flank getting upset with him about Israel.
“We now know this was a wide-scale, premeditated, cowardly, terrorist campaign against Israeli civilians that also claimed the lives of American citizens,” Fetterman said in a statement after the October 7 attacks. “I unequivocally support any necessary military, intelligence, and humanitarian aid to Israel. The United States has a moral obligation to be in lockstep with our ally as they confront this threat… I also fully support Israel neutralizing the terrorists responsible for this barbarism.”
Fetterman had not had much reason to speak about Israel prior to the current conflict, and the issue was not a prominent one in his Senate campaign last year.
This led, per The Intercept, a group of former Fetterman campaign staffers to author a letter calling for the senator to support a cease-fire. The staffers, mostly anonymous, call themselves Fetterman Alumni for Peace. A similar campaign was launched by former staffers of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has also been less critical of Israel than some of his longtime supporters would prefer.
“On the trail,” the Fetterman staffers wrote in their letter, “your overarching promise was to ‘Forgotten Communities’ – people and places that get overlooked, written off, and left behind. You can’t be a champion of forgotten communities if you cheerlead this war and the consequent destruction of Palestinian communities at home and abroad.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade.